Scott's taking a break this weekend for vacation, so I'll be filling-in for the regularly-scheduled hardware sales round-up. This weekend, we spotted an ASRock Z97 Extreme4 board marked down to $130, 27" Acer IPS panel for $195, and Tt eSports Poseidon Z keyboard for $70.

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This test was spawned out of a general lack of equipment in the GN lab. We've got a few monitors available for testing, but of the three best units (120Hz displays), only one natively operates at 1920x1080; the others -- fabled unicorns among monitors -- run at 2048x1152 and 1920x1200.

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The 1920x1080 120Hz display isn't always available for our game GPU benchmarks, making it desirable to use one of the larger displays at a lower-than-native resolution (for consistent / comparable testing). In effort of honest benchmarking, we decided to double-check an existing suspicion that forcing lower-than-native resolutions would not negatively impact FPS or produce synthetic artifacts that do not exist at native resolutions.

The hypothesis says "nope, should be identical performance other than visual scaling." Let's see if running a monitor at a non-native resolution will negatively impact testing with artifacts or lower FPS.

ASUS has announced that the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q we saw during CES is officially shipping at the end of August. It's a fair bit later than the Q2 target they were shooting for, but if all goes to plan, it will be here shortly. This is the first WQHD screen to use NVIDIA's G-Sync. The 27" monitor will feature a 144Hz refresh rate at 2560x1440 for normal 2D viewing; the Swift PG278Q drops to 120Hz in 3D mode. It also has a response time of 1ms (GTG) and 2xUSB 3.0 ports in addition to the DisplayPort 1.2 input.

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FreeSync was first announced as a variable refresh rate technology at CES 2014, legitimately taking nVidia by surprise on the show floor. Immediately after the technology was unveiled, we happened to be scheduled for a meeting with nVidia's Tom Peterson and Vijay Sharma to discuss G-Sync. I'd slipped in a question about the technology, announced an hour beforehand, and Peterson told us: "I don't know. We just heard about that today. I haven't read about it yet - ask me after the show."

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The weekend sales round-up is here. It features a 24” monitor for $270, a $130 high-end PSU, an R9 280 3GB card for $230, and a 480GB SSD for $230. Our Twitter and Facebook accounts will keep you up to date on other specials as they occur throughout the week, so keep your eyes open; we generally make it a rule to only share sales that our own staff find interest in.

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As consolation prizes for those of us not able to get out to PAX, here are some deals for you to take advantage of. In this edition of our weekend hardware sales round-up, we've got HyperX Blu Red Series 8GB RAM, a Corsair H60 CLC system, the Logitech G700s laser mouse we reviewed, and the MSI Z87-GD65 motherboard.

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This is one of the best weekend hardware sales round-ups we've had yet. This weekend, there's an MSI R9 270 2GB video card on sale for $180 (yes, actual MSRP!), an ultra-wide ASUS LED LCD for $210, Fractal's Define R4 case at $90, and more.

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Although it doesn't compete directly with Thunderbolt's ability to push PCI-e signals, AMD's new DockPort standard (renamed from code name "Lightning Bolt") has promising features and pricing expectations.

We recently discussed that DisplayPort's primary adoption advantage over HDMI is its lack of a licensing fee (HDMI costs $10,000 per year for adopters to utilize). DockPort continues the free legacy of DisplayPort and other AMD technologies, making itself available for integration without licensing from manufacturers. AMD released a new video showcasing the tech's use case scenarios.

Fake products are unfortunately standard routine with the technology industry. We've previously found fake DVI dual-link cables -- they had the dual-link pins, but were actually single-link wired -- and explained how to test for real DVI DL cables. Well, we found another fake: HDMI to VGA adapters.

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Yes. These are things that you can buy.

 

We realized not long ago that we've got -- I believe the technical phrase is -- a lot of cables. Shelves upon shelves. Throughout our years working on editorial content, we've had to learn about all the pros and cons of different interface versioning and cable standards.

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Questions have often come up during our testing, for instance: Is a so-called "SATA 6Gbps cable" actually better than a "SATA 3Gbps cable?" What's the difference between DVI-D, DVI-I, DVI-A, and DVI Dual-Link? In this video and article, we'll talk about all the major cable standards, their differences, and identify some of the up-and-coming standards.

 

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